Investors Duped in $150M Investment Scam Offering US Citizenship Prospect To Recoup Funds, Says SEC

The SEC says that investors who were bilked in a $150 million financial scam that offered foreigners a possible path to becoming an American will get back their money from the bogus securities offering. This news comes after the SEC filed civil charges against Anshoo R. Sethi.

Sethi is accused of creating Intercontinental Regional Center Trust of Chicago and A Chicago Convention Center in an alleged scheme to sell over $147M in securities that were supposed to go toward financing the building of a conference center and hotel close to Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Instead, contends the SEC, Sethi and his companies deceived Chinese investors, who were made to believe investing could up their chances of obtaining legal residency in this country via the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, which gives foreign investors a way to obtain this through their involvement in projects in this country that will help preserve or create a certain amount of jobs for our workers. Foreign investors may be able to get a green card if they put in $1 million (or $500,000 if in a “Targeted Employment Area” that has an unemployment rate that is high).

The Commission says that although Sethi and the companies had promised that the over $11M administrative fees paid by investors would revert back to them if their applications for visas didn’t go through, the three of them have already actually spent over 90% of this money. Also, approximately $2.5M purportedly ended up in Sethi’s personal account.

If you are an investor that lost money in a securities scheme, contact our stockbroker fraud law firm right away.

Investors to Receive Their Entire Investments Back After SEC Halted Scheme Exploiting Immigration Program, SEC, April 23, 2013

Read the Court Order (PDF)

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (PDF)

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